The International Organization for Qumran Studies

Here we also list news and events related to DSS research. These conferences are not organized by the IOQS.
Members and Visitors are encouraged to send in information they wish to share to the IOQS secretary.

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10th Meeting of the IOQS (Aberdeen, 4‒8 August, 2019): Call for Papers

Tenth Meeting of the International Organization for Qumran Studies (Aberdeen, Scotland, 4‒8 August, 2019)

(23rd Congress of the International Organisation for the Study of the Old Testament)

The Dead Sea Scrolls in the Context of Hellenistic Judea

Call for papers

The Scrolls are viewed more and more within their wider cultural, historical, and geographic context, and previous categorizations based on sectarianism, canonicity, or genre are being re-thought. For the special topic of the IOQS meeting, we welcome papers that consider the scrolls in their wider context of Hellenistic Judea and beyond.

The field of Qumran studies is no longer necessarily focused on the area where the scrolls were discovered. For example, archaeological study of Judea and Galilee has made advances during recent years, and the history of the Hasmonean rulers and their policies is increasingly placed in the wider context of power negotiations throughout the region. Papers may investigate how the scrolls should be viewed in light of new results in other fields (e.g., archaeology, history, paleography), or how the scrolls help to understand this particular cultural, historical, and geographic context. Proposals by scholars with expertise in other fields relevant to the scrolls are also welcome. Papers may seek to address how the scrolls and their producers interact with or represent a part of the wider landscape of Second Temple Judaism: how we negotiate balance between what is distinctive about Qumran evidence and what is “universal” or more broadly shared.

IOQS wishes to encourage scholars and PhD candidates at all levels who are working on the topic to propose a paper for the meeting. Papers that are directly related to the topic of the meeting will be considered for publication in a corresponding volume of the STDJ series. In addition, those working on other topics are encouraged to submit papers on any area of Qumran studies for one or more open sessions.

The call for papers will be opened soon at IOSOT website and all proposals should be submitted through the local organizers online system, see here. For any questions concerning IOQS, please contact IOQS president, Jutta Jokiranta, jutta.jokiranta|at|, or secretary Molly Zahn, mzahn|at| For any questions concerning the accommodation, registration, or any other general conference information, please contact the local organizers.

Paleo-Hebrew Dead Sea Scrolls Website
(by Antony Perrot)

On behalf of Antony Perrot:

The Paleo-Hebrew Dead Sea Scrolls Website is now available:!

This website aims at sharing the palaeographic work achieved on the Paleo-Hebrew texts from Qumran. The work was carried out during the EAJS-Lab workshop entitled “Research Approaches in Hebrew Bible Manuscript Studies,” which took place in Aix-en-Provence in June of 2016.

The website provides an access to the article, the palaeographic tables produced using LaTeX, a digital access to the images of the hebrew letters and palaeo-hebrew fonts.

The project was coordinated by Antony Perrot and Matthieu Richelle. It could not have been accomplished without the support of the “Orient et Méditerannée” Laboratory (CNRS-UMR8167) and The Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Survey: Professional standards and ethics regarding the use of cultural objects in Qumran Studies

This survey is designed by the Society of Biblical Literature International Meeting (ISBL) program unit “Qumran and Dead Sea Scrolls” (Matthew Goff, Jutta Jokiranta, Shani Tzoref) in cooperation with members of the “Working with Cultural Objects and Manuscripts” research group at the University of Helsinki (Rick Bonnie, Suzie Thomas). The survey is addressed to scholars and students working with or interested in Qumran texts and objects. It aims to collect data about views and knowledge related to global antiquities trade, and clarify scholars’ role in this trade and ethical questions involved with it.

The survey is voluntary and anonymous and the information will not be used to connect answers to any individual person.

The results will be presented at the SBL International Meeting in Helsinki 31 July 2018 and, possibly, used for the publication of a research article.

The survey will take about 5 to 10 minutes and it has four sections. The questions with * need to be answered in order to proceed. We appreciate your participation.

Abstracts and Programme Available: Dead Sea Scrolls at Seventy

The abstracts and programme for The Dead Sea Scrolls at Seventy: “Clear a Path in the Wilderness” is available online at the Orion Website:

Just published

La Bibliothèque de Qumran 3B:

With the contribution of:

Marie-France Dion
Damien Labadie
Michaël Langlois
Thierry Legrand
Daniel Stökl Ben Ezra

Conference on Religious and Philosophical Conversion in Ancient Mediterranean Traditions (Bonn, Germany, 25–27 September, 2018): Call for Papers

On behalf of PD Dr. Athanasios Despotis (Abteilung für Neues Testament, Bonn, Germany)

Conference on Religious and Philosophical Conversion in Ancient Mediterranean Traditions (CoRPC)

Dear colleagues,

We are pleased to announce the Conference on Religious and Philosophical Conversion in Ancient Mediterranean Traditions (CoRPC) , which will take place at the University of Bonn from 25 to 27 of September 2018 ( ).

Steering Committee:

  • Kelley Coblentz Bautch (St. Edward’s University in Austin)
  • Athanasios Despotis (Universität Bonn)
  • Edith M. Humphrey (Pittsburgh Theological Seminary)
  • Hermut Löhr (Universität Bonn)

Rationale: Research on the experience of religious conversion or spiritual transformation is necessarily interdisciplinary and interest in this field grows progressively. In light of this important and burgeoning area of study, CoRPC explores conversion or converting experience in the environment of the ancient Hellenistic world(s) with attention to early Judaism and early Christianity/the New Testament. Presentations will undertake both historical and philological reconstructions relying on source material and utilising interdisciplinary approaches. Similarly, discussions take up the literary use of the motif of conversion, the topic of philosophical conversion as well as ritual, social and embodied aspects of spiritual transformation.

CONFIRMED KEYNOTE SPEAKERS (in alphabetical order)

  • Pierre-Yves Brandt, Lausanne
  • Natacha Bustos, Rosario
  • Stephen Chester, Chicago
  • Athanasios Despotis, Bonn
  • Edith M. Humphrey, Pittsburgh
  • Miguel Herrero de Jauregui, Madrid
  • Rikard Roitto, Stockholm

We are accepting papers for the following main subjects of discussion:

  1. Theorising conversion and de-conversion
  2. “Turning” in the Hebrew Bible
  3. Conversion rhetorics in Hellenistic Judaism
  4. Spiritual transformation in the purview of the Qumran Communities
  5. Conversion in the New Testament and Christian Apocrypha
  6. Philosophical conversion
  7. Conversion and the pagan mysteries
  8. Early Christian reception of the New Testament texts
  9. Polemical and satirical approaches to religious and philosophical conversion
  10. Ecumenical readings
  11. CSR (Cognitive Science of Religion) approaches to conversion experience in the Jewish and Hellenistic world

Abstracts of no more than 300 words for 20-minute papers should be sent to by 30th January 2018 . The abstracts will be reviewed by 15th of February.

We look forward to hearing from you and please do not hesitate to contact us at with any questions.

Best regards,
PD Dr. Athanasios Despotis
Abteilung für Neues Testament
An der Schlosskirche 2–4
53113 Bonn, Germany

2018 Dirk Smilde Fellow: Prof. George J. Brooke (Groningen, The Netherlands, February 2, 2018)

The Qumran Institute at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Groningen, is proud to announce the inaugural lecture of the 2018 Dirk Smilde Fellow, Professor George J. Brooke

Dirk Smilde Fellowship Inaugural Lecture

“A Summer’s Day? With What Shall We Compare the Dead Sea Scrolls?”

Prof. Dr. George J. Brooke

Friday, February 2, 2018, 15:30 – 18:15
Doopsgezinde Kerk, Oude Boteringestraat 33,
9712 GD Groningen, The Netherlands

On February 2nd, the president of the University of Groningen, Sibrandes Poppema, will present the Dirk Smilde Fellowship to Prof. Dr. George J. Brooke, Professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis Emeritus at the University of Manchester, UK. Dr. Gareth Wearne will receive the Dirk Smilde Scholarship. If you would like to attend the ceremony please register here.

Prof. George Brooke’s inaugural lecture asks: to what should the Dead Sea Scrolls be compared? Over the years, many comparisons have been offered: sometimes with texts from the second millennium BCE, sometimes with texts from the Middle Ages, and with everything in between. Comparisons have also been made with items from Babylon to Italy, and from Asia Minor to Egypt. How should such comparisons be controlled? What makes a comparison appropriate? With eight examples from the Bible to the Copper Scroll, from Libraries to Voluntary Associations, the lecture will address some of the issues as it seeks to locate and illuminate the Dead Sea Scrolls within a broader comparative frame of reference.

George J. Brooke
George J. Brooke is Rylands Professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis Emeritus at the University of Manchester where he taught Biblical Studies and Early Judaism from 1984 until 2016. He completed his Ph.D. at Claremont Graduate School, California, in 1978 under the direction of William H. Brownlee, one of the first scholars to touch the scrolls in 1948 when they were brought to the American School for Oriental Research in Jerusalem. Since 1992 he has been a member of the Israel Antiquities Authority’s international team of editors of the Dead Sea Scrolls and is currently working on a revised edition of a series of manuscripts from Qumran’s Cave 4. He was a founding editor of the journal Dead Sea Discoveries (Brill, 1993-2003). In 1999 he was the President of the British Association for Jewish Studies. Awarded a D.D. from Oxford University in 2010, he was President for 2012 of the British Society for Old Testament Study. He is also Visiting Professor of Biblical Studies at the University of Chester.

15:30   Arrivals
15:45   Welcome by Mladen Popović (Dean, Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies)
15:50   Presentation of Dirk Smilde Fellowship 2018 and Dirk Smilde Scholarship 2018 by Sibrandes Poppema (President, University of Groningen)
15:55   Lecture, George J. Brooke, A Summer’s Day? With What Shall We Compare the Dead Sea Scrolls?
16:40   Response by Dr. Gareth Wearne, Dirk Smilde Scholarship recipient
16:50   Questions and discussion
17:15   Drinks at Faculty of Theology & Religious Studies (Oude Boteringestraat 38)

Dirk Smilde
Through the University’s Ubbo Emmius Fund, Mr. Dirk Smilde (1926–2013) made a generous multi-year financial commitment to the Qumran Institute. By associating his name to the fellowship – unique in the Netherlands – we want to honour the important role and financial contributions of Dirk Smilde towards the research of the Dead Sea Scrolls at the University of Groningen. With this fellowship it is possible for leading researchers in the field to come to the Qumran Institute for a while, conduct research and share knowledge with other researchers. This fellowship is awarded every two years. The Dirk Smilde Scholarship is meant for excellent PhD students and postdocs in the fields of Hebrew Bible, early Judaism and Dead Sea Scrolls.

The previous Dirk Smilde Fellowships were awarded to Professor Steve Mason (2014) and Professor Benjamin Wright (2016). This year’s Dirk Smilde Scholarships have been awarded to Dr. Gareth Wearne and Robert Jones, MA.

Professor Brooke’s Inaugural Lecture will also start the 2018 Dirk Smilde Research Seminar.

Dirk Smilde Research Seminar 2018
Comparative Studies with Special Reference to the Dead Sea Scrolls

This research seminar addresses the broad theme of Comparative Studies as applied to Judaism in antiquity with special reference to the Dead Sea Scrolls, especially those from the Qumran caves. In recent years the Dead Sea Scrolls from the Qumran caves have moved from being representative of a small marginal sectarian group in Judea in the three centuries before the fall of the Temple in 70 CE to being understood as a major textual resource for the understanding of Judaism in the Levant of the time of Hillel and Jesus. Though there remains a need for the careful description of the origins of each composition, their discovery together in the caves at and near Qumran provides a key starting point for their appreciation; in fact, such location and dating provides a relatively firm and fixed reference point which can be used as the basis for comparative analysis. There remains room for much further work on how their significance should be articulated and how comparative data should be selected and used.
The Research Seminar will have as its backbone a series of lectures by the 2018 Dirk Smilde Professorial Research Fellow, George Brooke. In six lectures between February and May, he will address the topic of Comparative Studies in relation to the Dead Sea Scrolls. His series of lectures will begin on Friday 2nd February 2018 with an inaugural presentation: “A Summer’s Day? With What Shall We Compare the Dead Sea Scrolls?” Five further lectures will engage with the methodologies of comparative studies, especially as those might be applied to the Scrolls, and several other topics as listed in the schedule below.
Those participating in the seminar will take it in turns to engage Comparative Studies from the broad range of their specialist interests. Topics to be addressed in the weekly seminars led by participants might include:

  • Historiography
  • Aramaic compositions
  • Canonisation processes
  • Magic
  • Calendars
  • Cultural Studies
  • Comparative Theory

The Dirk Smilde Research Seminar creates a stimulating environment for students and young researchers to learn to do independent research and to share that with their international peers and an international senior top researcher. Every student is responsible for a specific seminar meeting, thereby acquiring organisational, leadership and realization skills.

February 8 . . .
February 15 George Brooke: Comparing Methods and Theories
February 22 . . .
March 1 . . .
March 8 George Brooke: Comparing Contexts
March 15 . . .
March 22 . . .
April 5 George Brooke: Comparing Texts and their Interpretations
April 12 Guest Lecture. Eibert Tigchelaar, KU Leuven: Comparing Zoroastrian, Middle-Platonic, and Early Jewish Pneumatology
April 19 . . .
April 26 George Brooke: Comparing Rules and Rituals
May 17 . . .
May 24 . . .
May 30 10:00–12:00   Guest Lecture. Hindy Najman and Arjen Bakker, University of Oxford: Thinking Divine Thoughts: Perfection, Imitation and Time in Jewish Antiquity
13:30–15:30   George Brooke: Comparing the Incomparable

All meetings will be held at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies (Oude Boteringestraat 38), from 16.15-18.00 hrs, unless otherwise noted.

Readings for each class will be announced in due time.
Teachers/coordinator: Prof. dr. George J. Brooke (Manchester University/Chester University) and Prof. dr. Mladen Popović (coordinator)
For full schedule and meeting locations, click here.

SBL International Meeting (Helsinki, Finland, July 30–August 3, 2018): Call for Papers

(courtesy of Jutta Jokiranta)

Call For Papers:

The Qumran and Dead Sea Scrolls unit welcomes papers for four separate sessions

1) The first session is on Ethics and Policies regarding Unprovenanced Materials. This session continues the conversation begun in ISBL Berlin 2017 sessions on the “Tracing and Facing the Possibility of Forgeries.” The current focus moves from identification of forgeries towards Ethics and Policies in the academic community and beyond, participating in wider discussions concerning heritage management, measures to stop illicit trade, and cooperation needed in the academia for a sustainable future. The session is partly invited (in collaboration with the WCOM [Working with Cultural Objects and Manuscripts] project) and partly open.

2) The second session is a joint session with Ritual in the Biblical World unit. It welcomes papers exploring ritual experience that relates to the Dead Sea Scrolls/the Qumran movement or other relevant late Second Temple evidence, with a special focus on festival landscapes, festival time, habitus and ritual innovation in interaction with ritual theory.

3) The third session is a joint session with Digital Humanities unit. It invites proposals on ongoing research projects that produce new digital/online editions of the Dead Sea Scrolls or make use of digital tools in studying the scrolls and presenting the data.

4) The fourth session is open, and welcomes proposals on any relevant topic with a clear abstract stating the task or question, sources, and methods or theoretical framework.

Program Unit Chairs
Jutta Jokiranta
Matthew Goff

Further information can be found here.

Qumrân en contexte (Programme 2017–2018; Séminaire Qumrân de Paris)

(Courtesy of Claude Matlofsky)



Programme 2017–2018: Qumrân en contexte

Le mardi de 12h à 14h: Institut protestant de théologie: 83, bd Arago 75013 Paris, salle 22 (métro: Denfert-Rochereau ou Saint-Jacques)


Mardi 7 novembre 2017:

Katell Berthelot (CNRS): «Reconquérir la Terre Promise? Les guerres hasmonéennes ou la déconstruction d’un paradigme historiographique»

Mardi 12 décembre 2017:

André Lemaire (EPHE): «Qumrân: 1. Les inscriptions du Khirbeh. 2. La fonction du site vers le tournant de notre ère: un beith midrash

Mardi 9 janvier 2018:

Claire Decomps (Conservateur en chef, Région Grand Est/ Service de l’inventaire général du patrimoine culturel): «La genizah de Dambach-la-Ville exposée au MAHJ»

Mardi 13 février 2018:

Francis Schmidt (EPHE) : «Présentation de l’ouvrage de Helen R. Jacobus, Zodiac Calenders in the Dead Sea Scrolls and their Reception: Ancient Astronomy and Astrology in Early Judaism», IJS Studies in Judaica 14, Leyde: Brill, 2015

Mardi 6 mars 2018:

Claude Cohen-Matlofsky (Institut Élie Wiesel): «Les cimetières de Qumrân en contexte: étude comparative des pratiques funéraires en Judée-Palestine hellénistique et romaine»

Mardi 10 avril 2018:

Christophe Batsch (Université de Lille): «Perspectives pour un colloque»

Mardi 15 mai 2018:

Charlotte Hempel (Université de Birmingham): «Where is ‘Ezra’ in the Dead Sea Scrolls?»

Mardi 5 juin 2018:

Antony Perrot (Doctorant EPHE): «Lire un texte opisthographe à Qumrân»

The Rose-Marie Lewent Conference – The Dead Sea Scrolls at 70 (New York, November 16–17, 2017)

The Rose-Marie Lewent Conference

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